Operating out of what was the short-lived Mahkanas on Galveston, Brother Jon's is a venture by Downtowner partner Stephen Barnette and fellow Deschutes pub alum John Machell (along with wife Kristen). Barnette calls Brother Jon's a "neighborhood pub" with a clean atmosphere, a full bar with choices of microbrews as well as the seemingly obligatory $2 PBR tall can. The menu is pub fare with nothing exceeding the $10 line, underlining the pub's focus on affordability. Having opened just Monday, Barnette says he's already noticed a come-one-come-all ethos to his pub.
"Yesterday a couple guys from down the street came by with a guitar and banjo and played out on the back patio. And we're fine with that sort of thing," said Barnette, adding that they also have cable sports packages.
If you walk into Brother Jon's and feel like you've met Barnette before, you probably have-he was a longtime manager at the Deschutes pub.
Another familiar face popping up in a new location is Strictly Organic Coffee Co., which will soon open a second location in the Old Mill. The new Strictly O is taking up residence in the former Bella Cucina spot, which was vacated earlier this year. From our perspective, a coffee shop in the middle of the Shops at the Old Mill is a pretty good idea, considering there's currently not a spot to grab a cup down there.
And as an establishment fueled exclusively by Strictly O, we definitely aren't complaining.